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Agastya, a famous Siddha
Pambatti Siddhar Sannidhi at Marudamalai Temple

The Siddhar (Tamil: Cittar, singular Citta, from Sanskrit siddha) are saints in India, mostly Shaiva, in Tamil Nadu, who professed and practised an unorthodox type of sādhanā (spiritual practices) to attain liberation. A siddha obtains yogic powers called siddhi by constant practice of certain yogic disciplines and tapasya. The siddhars can be compared to mystics in Western culture.

Historically, Siddhar also refers to the people who were early age wandering adepts that dominated ancient Tamil teaching and philosophy. They were knowledgeable in science, technology, astronomy, literature, fine arts, music, drama, dance, and provided solutions to common people in their illness and advice for their future.[1] Some of their ideologies are considered to have originated during the First Sangam period.[2][3][4]


Siddhars are people who are believed to control and transcend the barriers of time and space by meditation (Yoga), the use of substances called Rasayanas that transform the body to make it potentially deathless, and a particular type of Pranayama (breathing-practice). Through their practices they are believed to have reached stages of insight which enabled them to tune into the powers hidden in various material substances and practices.

Typically Siddhars were saints, doctors, alchemists and mystics all at once. They wrote their findings in the form of poems in the Tamil language, on palm leaves which are collected and stored in what are known as the "Palm leaf manuscripts". These are still owned by some families in Tamil Nadu and handed down through the generations, as well as being kept in public institutions such as universities in India, Germany, Great Britain and the United States.[5]

In this way Siddhars developed, among other branches of a vast knowledge-system, what is now known as Siddha medicine, practised mainly in Tamil Nadu as a type of traditional native medicine. A rustic form of healing that is similar to Siddha medicine has since been practised by experienced elders in the villages of Tamil Nadu. (This has sometimes been confused with Paatti Vaitthiyam" and "Naattu marunthu (forms of traditional Tamil medicine) and Mooligai marutthuvam (Ayurvedic medicine)).

Siddhars are also believed to be the founders of Varmam - a martial art for self-defence and medical treatment at the same time. Varmam are specific points located in the human body which when pressed in different ways can give various results, such as disabling an attacker in self-defence, or balancing a physical condition as an easy first-aid medical treatment.

Tamil Siddhars were the first to develop pulse-reading ("naadi paarththal" in Tamil) to identify the origin of diseases. This method was later copied and used in Ayurveda.[6]

Siddhars have also written many religious poems. It is believed that most of them have lived for ages, in a mystic mountain called Sathuragiri, near Thanipparai village in Tamil Nadu.

Some Siddhars[edit]

The Abithana Chintamani encyclopedia states that the Siddhars are either of the 9 or 18 persons listed below, but sage Agastyar states that there are many who precede and follow these. Many of the great Siddhars are regarded to have powers magical and spiritual.[citation needed]

The 9 Siddhars[edit]

The 9 listed in "Abithana Chintamani" are as follows:

  1. Sathyanathar
  2. Sathoganathar
  3. Aadhinathar
  4. Anadhinathar
  5. Vegulinathar
  6. Madhanganathar
  7. Machaendranathar
  8. Gadaendranathar or Gajendranathar
  9. Korakkanathar

The 18 Siddhars[edit]


There are 18 siddhars in the Tamil Siddha tradition. They are[7][8]

  1. [Pathanjali]
  2. Agastya
  3. Kamalamuni@ kalangi
  4. Tirumular
  5. Kuthambai
  6. Korakkar
  7. Thanvandri
  8. Konganar
  9. Sattamuni
  10. Vanmeegar
  11. Ramadevar
  12. Nandeeswarar (Nandidevar)
  13. Edaikkadar
  14. Machamuni
  15. Karuvoorar
  16. Bogar
  17. Pambatti
  18. Sundarandandar

Powers of siddhars[edit]

The siddhars are believed to have had both major and minor powers which are described in detail in various yogic and religious texts.[9] They also are said to have the power of converting their mass to energy and thereby travelling to different universes.

  1. Anima (shrinking) -- Power of becoming the size of an atom and entering the smallest beings
  2. Mahima (illimitability) -- Power of becoming mighty and co-extensive with the universe. The power of increasing one's size without limit
  3. Lagima (lightness) -- Capacity to be quite light though big in size
  4. Garima (weight) -- Capacity to weigh a lot, though seemingly being small in size
  5. Prapthi (fulfillment of desires) -- Capacity to enter all the worlds from Brahma Loga to the nether world. It is the power of attaining everything desired
  6. Prakasysm (irresistible will) -- Power of disembodying and entering into other bodies (metempsychosis) and going to heaven and enjoying what everyone aspires for, simply from where he stays
  7. Isithavam (supremacy) -- Have the creative power of God and control over the Sun, Moon and the elements
  8. Vasithavam (dominion over the elements) -- Power of control over kings and gods. The power of changing the course of nature and assuming any form

These eight are the Great Siddhis (Ashtama siddhis), or Great Perfections.[10]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Meditation Revolution: A History and Theology of the Siddha Yoga Lineage. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. 2000. ISBN 9788120816480. 
  2. ^ S. Cunjithapatham, M. Arunachalam (1989). Musical tradition of Tamilnadu. International Society for the Investigation of Ancient Civilizations. p. 11. 
  3. ^ Journal of Indian history, Volume 38. Dept. of History, University of Kerala. 1960. 
  4. ^ Weiss, Richard (2009). Recipes for Immortality : Healing, Religion, and Community in South India: Healing, Religion, and Community in South India. Oxford University Press. p. 80. ISBN 9780199715008. 
  5. ^ V. Jayaram. "Study of siddhas". Hinduwebsite.com. Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  6. ^ Dr. J. Raamachandran, Herbs of Siddha Mediicines/The First 3D book, pp.iii
  7. ^ "18 siddhars". Palanitemples.com. Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  8. ^ "Siddhars". Sathuragiri.org. Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  9. ^ Thirumandiram 668
  10. ^ "Ashtama Siddhis". Siddhars.com. Retrieved 2013-06-22. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siddhar — Please support Wikipedia.
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575 news items

The New Indian Express

The New Indian Express
Wed, 07 Oct 2015 15:41:15 -0700

The 95-year-old Siddhar Paati, who was admitted in the Karur GH for more than 20 days after revenue officials rescued her from confinement in the house of her caretaker Dr K Natarajan in Noyyal on September 13, died on Monday. Claiming ownership of her ...

The New Indian Express

The New Indian Express
Mon, 05 Oct 2015 15:52:30 -0700

KARUR: Days after landing in the limelight over alleged preparations for her Jeeva Samadhi, 95-year-old Siddhar Paati breathed her last at the government hospital here in the early hours of Monday. A large posse of police was deployed in the area to ...

The New Indian Express

The New Indian Express
Mon, 14 Sep 2015 15:24:53 -0700

KARUR: Monday's grievance day meeting saw a different kind of request placed before District Collector S Jayandhi when a group of people identified themselves as followers of Siddhar Paati and urged her to discharge the woman from the government ...
The Asian Age
Mon, 12 Oct 2015 12:30:00 -0700

The last leg of the Amazon India Fashion Week Spring Summer 2016 saw designers like Debarun, Ankita Chaudhry of label Saaj, Tanieya Khanuja, Dolly J, Kartikeya, Komal Sood, Prashant Verma, Siddhar-tha Tytler, and a grand finale comprising 16 ...

The Hans India

The Hans India
Mon, 12 Oct 2015 00:52:30 -0700

This question, only the first Siddhar, Lord Siva can answer. Imagine the extent of hygiene during and post leech therapy? Won't such leech therapy open the door for many microbes to enter into our system, colonize easily and develop virulence? Do we ...

Huffington Post India

Huffington Post India
Wed, 15 Apr 2015 02:52:35 -0700

Annamalai Annamalai (49), also known as Swamiji Sri Selvam Siddhar, was in August last convicted for bank and tax frauds following a two-week jury trial. He was also convicted of bankruptcy fraud offences in connection with the Hindu Temple's petition ...


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The New Indian Express

The New Indian Express
Sat, 26 Sep 2015 09:41:15 -0700

Legend has it that an ancient sage, Kaduveli Siddhar, had cursed the land in fury, but when the people showed remorse, he prophesised that people from various lands would come together and make the soil fertile again. As fate would have it, Sadhana ...

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